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March 20 , 2010

British Regiments at the Front, The Story of Their Battle Honours (Illustrated)


"The Rusty Buckles."

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The 2nd Dragoon Guards (Queen's Bays) got their name of "The Bays" in 1767 when they were mounted on bay horses—a thing which distinguished them from other regiments, which, with the exception of the Scots Greys, had black horses. Their nickname, "The Rusty Buckles," though lending itself to a ready explanation, is doubtful as to its origin; but one thing is certain that the rust remained on the buckles only because the fighting was so strenuous and prolonged that there was no time to clean it off.

"The Royal Irish."

The 4th Dragoon Guards received this title in 1788, in recognition of its long service in Ireland since 1698. The regiment also has the name of the "Blue Horse" from the blue facings of the uniform.

"The Green Horse."

The 5th Dragoon Guards were given this name in 1717 when their facings were changed from buff to green. Some time later, after Salamanca, they were also called the "Green Dragoon Guards."

"Tichborne's Own."

The 6th Dragoon Guards, or Carabiniers, have been known as "Tichborne's Own" ever since the trial of Arthur Orton, as Sir Roger Tichborne had served for some time in the regiment. The name of "Carabiniers" has distinguished them ever since 1692, when they were armed with long pistols or "carabins." With these weapons they did signal work in Ireland in 1690-1.

"Scots Greys."

This regiment, the 2nd Dragoons, has been known by many names: "Second to None," "The Old Greys," "Royal Regiment of Scots Dragoons," (in 1681, when they were commanded by the famous Claverhouse); "The Grey Dragoons" in 1700, the "Scots Regiment of White Horses," the "Royal Regiment of North British Dragoons" in 1707, the "2nd Dragoons" in 1713, and the "2nd Royal North British Dragoons" in 1866.

Associated with them and all their different names is the memorable cry of "Scotland for ever"—that wild shout they raised as they charged the French infantry at Waterloo. At Ramillies they captured the colours of the French Régiment du Roi and by this gained the right to wear grenadier caps instead of helmets. "Bubbly Jocks" is a nickname frequently used among themselves—a name derived from the fact that their dress in its general effect is not unlike that of the "Bubbly Jock" or turkey cock.

"Lord Adam Gordon's Life Guards."

The 3rd Hussars received this nickname from the fact that when Lord Adam Gordon commanded the regiment in Scotland he kept it there for such a long time—"forlife" so to speak. When it was raised, in 1685, the regiment was called "The Queen Consort's Regiment of Dragoons." In 1691 it was known as "Leveson's Dragoons." In the time of the George's it was called variously "King's Own Dragoons" and "Bland's Horse." In 1818 it was made a "Light Dragoon" regiment, and it was not until 1861 that it became Hussars.

"Paget's Irregular Horse."

The 4th Hussars received this title on its return from foreign service, when it was remarked that its drill was less regular than that of the other regiments. In 1685 it was called the "Princess Ann of Denmark's Regiment of Dragoons." Like the 3rd it was formed into a regiment of Hussars in 1861.

"The Red Breasts."

The 5th Lancers, or Royal Irish, are called "Red Breasts" because of their scarlet facings. In 1689 they were known as the "Royal Irish Dragoons," having been raised to assist at the siege of Londonderry in 1688. They became the "5th Royal Irish Lancers" in 1858. This regiment has also been called the "Daily Advertisers," but the derivation of this name is somewhat obscure.

"The Delhi Spearmen."

The 9th Lancers received this name from the rebels of the Indian Mutiny, against whom they used their long lances with such deadly effect. In 1830 they were known as the "Queen's Royal Lancers," and "Wynne's Dragoons."

"The Cherry Pickers."

The 11th Hussars were dubbed "Cherry Pickers" because some of their men during the Peninsular War were taken prisoners in a fruit garden while supposed to be on outpost duty. They are known also as "Prince Albert's Own" from the fact that they formed part of the Prince's escort from Dover to Canterbury when he arrived in England in 1840 as the late Queen's chosen Consort. One hears them sometimes referred to as the "Cherubims," from their crimson overalls, busby bag, and crimson and white plume.

"The Supple 12th."

It was at Salamanca that the 12th Lancers received this honoured name, because of their dash and rapid movements.

"The Fighting 15th."

It was at Emsdorf that the 15th Hussars won this name, and their feat of arms on that field gained them the privilege to wear on their helmets the following inscription: "Five battalions of French defeated and taken by this Regiment with their colours and nine pieces of cannon at Emsdorf, 16th July, 1760." In 1794, at Villiers-en-Couché, they charged with the Austrian Leopold Hussars against vastly superior numbers to protect the person of the Austrian Emperor. In recognition of this the then Kaiser presented each of the eight surviving officers with a medal. In 1799 they received the Royal honour of decking their helmets with scarlet feathers. The "Fighting 15th" are also known in history as "Elliot's Light Horse."

"The Dumpies."

The 20th Hussars, together with the 19th and 21st, received the name of "Dumpies" from the fact that the regiment when formed of volunteers from the disbanded Bengal European Cavalry of the East India Company were short and dumpy. Though nowadays there is many a giant among the 20th, the name of "Dumpies" still survives.

"The Mudlarks."

The Royal Engineers received this name from the nature of their ordinary business in war. In 1722 they were called the "Soldier Artificers Corps"; and, in 1813, "The Royal Sappers and Miners."

"The Gunners."

The Royal Artillery have held this name from their regular formation in 1793. Formerly, after the rebellion in Scotland, they were known as the "Royal Regiment of Artillery," and, though not in any way formed into a regiment, they date still further back, one might say even to the early days when guns were made of wood and leather. That was before 1543, when the first gun was cast in England. In 1660 the master gunner was called the "Chief Fire Master". The Honourable Artillery Company was founded in 1537 and is the oldest Volunteer Corps in Great Britain.

"The Sandbags."

The Grenadier Guards gained this peculiar name from their special privilege of working in plain clothes for wages at coal or gravel heaving, and for this same reason they were often called "Coalheavers." They seem to have got this name in Flanders, where they excelled at trench work. Another of their nicknames is "Old Eyes." In 1657 they were known as the "Royal Regiment of Guards," and in 1660 as the "King's Regiment of Guards."

"The Coldstreamers."

The Coldstream Guards received their name in 1666 when Monk marched them from Coldstream to assist Charles II to regain his throne. They have been called the "Nulli Secundus Club," in memory of the fact that Charles, before he hit on the name "Coldstream Guards," wished to call them the "2nd Foot Guards," a thing to which they strongly objected, saying that they were "second to none."

"The Jocks."

The origin of this name for the Scots Guards is obvious. History is a little uncertain about their record, as their papers were burnt by accident in 1841; but this is certain, that they were raised as Scots Guards in 1639 and were called later the "Scots Fusilier Guards" and the "3rd Foot Guards," after which, in 1877, they resumed the name of "Scots Guards."

"Pontius Pilate's Bodyguard."

This strange nickname of the Royal Scots Regiment is based on an equally strange story. As long ago as 1637, when most other regiments were as yet unborn, a dispute arose between the Royal Scots and the Picardy Regiment on the point of priority in age. The Picardy Regiment claimed to have been on duty the night after the Crucifixion. But the Royal Scots met this with a withering volley. "Had we been on duty then," they said, "we should not have slept at our post." This incident caused some wag to dub the Royal Scots "Pontius Pilate's Bodyguard," and the name has stuck to them ever since. There is another tradition that this regiment represents the body of Scottish Archers, who for many centuries formed the guard of the French Kings. It fought in the seven years' war under Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden, and was incorporated in the British Army in 1633. Since then, whenever war has been declared, every man of "Pontius Pilate's Bodyguard" has been among the last to stay at home.

"The Lions."

The Royal Lancaster Regiment bears upon its colour the Lions of England, disposed, as in Trafalgar Square, one at each quarter. This distinction was given them by the Prince of Orange, as they were the first regiment to join him in 1688 when he landed at Torbay. They have also been called "Barrell's Blues" from their Commander and their blue facings. They received the title of "King's Own" from George I., in 1715, and our late King Edward became their Colonel-in-Chief in 1903. Our present King is now the Colonel-in-Chief.

"Kirke's Lambs."

The Royal West Surrey Regiment (The Queen's) derived this name from Kirke and from the Paschal Lamb in each of the four corners of its colour. The name has also an ironical derivation from the fact that they were employed to enforce the cruelties of "Bloody Judge Jeffreys." Another nickname of theirs is the "First Tangerines," because they were raised in 1661 as the "Tangiers Regiment of Foot," for the purpose of garrisoning Tangiers, at that time a British possession. John Churchill, Duke of Marlborough, began his career in this Regiment. Another nickname, "Sleepy Queen's" is derived from a slight omission of theirs at Almeida, when, through some oversight, they allowed General Brennier to escape. But they have so far lived this down that now, ut lucus a non lucendo, they are called "sleepy" because they are always very wide awake.

"The Shiners."

The Northumberland Fusiliers deserve that name because they are always so spic-and-span. They also deserve the name of "Fighting Fifth" because they have many a time proved their right to it. At the battle of Kirch Denkern (1761) they captured a whole regiment of French infantry, and, in the following year, at Wilhelmsthal, they took twice their own number prisoners. They have also the name of "Lord Wellington's Body Guard" because, in 1811, they were attached to Headquarters. Another name is "The Old and Bold." On St. George's day the "Fighting Fifth" wear roses in their caps, but the origin of this is not clear, unless it may be that one of their badges is "St. George and the Dragon," and another "The Rose and Crown." They also wear the white feathers of the French Grenadiers on the anniversary of the battle of La Vigie, when Comte de Grasse attempted to relieve the Island of St. Lucia in the West Indies. On that occasion the "Old and Bold" took the white plumes from the caps of their defeated opponents, the French Grenadiers. To-day, the white in the red and white hackle now worn by them refers back to that terrible death-struggle. The 5th is the only foot regiment which has the distinction of a red and white pompon. It is worth recording here that they formed part of a force which repulsed overwhelming numbers of the enemy on the heights of El Bodon (1811) during the investment of Ciudad Rodrigo. The Iron Duke spoke of this achievement as "a memorable example of what can be done by steadiness, discipline and confidence."

"The Elegant Extracts."

The word sounds like a fashionable chemical compound, but its real meaning is derived from the fact that the officers of the Royal Fusiliers—except 2nd Lieutenants and Ensigns, of which at the time they had none—were "extracted" from other corps. In the eighteenth century they were known as the "Hanoverian White Horse." Those who have lived to remember the Crimean War will remember also that brave song, "Fighting with the 7th Royal Fusiliers"—a song which became so popular that the regiment could have been recruited four times over had it been necessary.

"The Leather Hats."

The King's (Liverpool) Regiment gained their name from their head-gear. They were raised by James II. in 1685. In the American War an officer and 40 men of the "Leather Hats" captured a fort held by 400 of the enemy. It is interesting to know that this regiment has an allied regiment of the Australian Commonwealth—the 8th Australian Infantry Regiment.

"The Holy Boys."

The Norfolk Regiment has had this name ever since the Peninsular War. In that campaign the Spaniards, seeing the figure of Britannia on the cross-belts of the 9th, thought that it was a representation of the Virgin Mary. There is another story to the effect that they derive their name from their reputed practice of selling their Bibles to buy drink during the Peninsular War. But this I do not believe. Another name for them is the "Fighting Ninth"—a title which no one can refuse to believe. Their bravery at the siege of St. Sebastian might alone justify it.

"The Springers."

The Lincolnshire Regiment received this nickname during the American War because they were remarkable in their readiness to spring into action when called upon. It was the first infantry regiment to enter Boer territory during the late South African War. Their other name of "Lincolnshire Poachers" has no satisfactory derivation.

"The Bloody Eleventh."

There are two stories to account for this nickname of the Devonshire Regiment. One is that at Salamanca they were in a very sanguinary condition after the battle. The other is that when they were in Dublin in 1690 the regiment's contractor supplied bad meat, on which they swore that if he did so again they would hang the butcher. There was no improvement in the meat, so they hanged the delinquent in front of his own shop on one of his own meat-hooks. It is no doubt the first story that is the true one. Another name for the Devonshires is "One and All." It was a man in this regiment who wounded Napoleon at Toulon in 1793.

"The Old Dozen."

The Suffolk Regiment won glory for itself at the siege of Gibraltar. It also behaved with the greatest gallantry at Minden, and that is why on the 1st of August (Minden Day) the "Old Dozen" parade with a rose in the head-dress of each man. In connection with this they are also called the "Minden Boys."

"The Peacemakers."

The Bedfordshire Regiment were first known as the "Peacemakers" because at that time there were no battles on its colours. For the same reason no doubt they were also called "Bloodless Lambs." Another nickname of theirs is "The Old Bucks"—a title justified by their hard fighting in the Netherlands under William III. and also under Marlborough.

"The Bengal Tigers."

The Leicestershire Regiment gets its name from the Royal Green Tiger on its badge. This distinction was given it for a brilliant achievement in the Nepal War of 1814, when they captured a Standard bearing a tiger. They are also called "Lily Whites," from their white facings.

"The Green Howards."

The Yorkshire Regiment was commanded by Colonel Howard, and has green facings. They are also called "Howard's Garbage," and must not be confused with the 24th Foot, also once commanded by a Colonel Howard, and styled "Howard's Greens."

"The Earl of Mar's Grey Breeks."

The Royal Scots Fusiliers received this name from the colour of their breeches at the time the regiment was raised in 1678. "The Grey Breeks" wear a white plume in their head-dress—an honour bestowed in recognition of their services during the Boer War.

"The Lightning Conductors."

There is some doubt as to how the Cheshire Regiment acquired this name. But it may be connected in some way with the fact that at Dettingen, when George II. was attacked by the French Cavalry, they formed round him under an oak tree and drove the enemy off. In remembrance of this occasion the oak leaf is worn by them at all inspections and reviews in obedience to the wish of George II. when he plucked a leaf from the tree and handed it to the Commander. They are also known as the "Two Twos" from their number, the 22nd. Another of their names is "The Red Knights," because, when recruiting at Chelmsford in 1795, red jackets, breeches and waistcoats were served out to them instead of the proper uniform. This regiment, under the name of the "Soulsburg Grenadiers," was under Wolfe when he was mortally wounded at Quebec.

"The Nanny Goats."

The Royal Welsh Fusiliers are known as "Nanny Goats" or "Royal Goats" because they always have a goat, with shields and garlands on its horns, marching bravely at the head of the drum. This has been their custom for over a hundred years. A glance at the back of their tunics reveals a small piece of silk known as a "flash." It has been there ever since the days when its office was to keep the powdered pigtail from soiling the tunic. The King is Colonel-in-Chief of the "Nanny Goats."

"Howard's Greens."

The South Wales Borderers were at one time commanded by a Colonel Howard. It was a company of this regiment which achieved immortal glory at Rorke's Drift, which they defended against 3,000 Zulus. In Africa they gained no less than eight V.C.'s. On the Queen's colour of each battalion may be seen a silver wreath. This was bestowed by Queen Victoria in memory of Lieutenants Melville and Coghill, who died to save the colours at Isandlhwana.

"The Botherers."

The King's Own Scottish Borderers—the only regiment that was allowed to beat up for recruits in Edinburgh without asking the Lord Provost's permission—were called "Botherers," partly on this account and partly by corruption from "Borderers." They bear also the name of "Leven's Regiment," from the remarkable fact that in 1689 they were raised by the Earl of Leven in Edinburgh, in the space of four hours. They are also known as the "K.O.B.s."

"The Cameronians."

The 1st Battalion of the Scottish Rifles are the descendants of the Glasgow Cameronian Guard which was raised during the Revolution of 1688 from the Cameronians, a strict set of Presbyterians founded by Archibald Cameron, the martyr. The 2nd Battalion is known as "Sir Thomas Graham's Perthshire Grey Breeks." It received this name from the fact that when Lord Moira ordered the regiment to be equipped and trained as a Light Infantry Corps, their uniforms consisted of a red jacket faced with buff, over a red waistcoat, with buff tights and Hessians for the officers, and light grey pantaloons for the men. Both battalions now wear dark green doublets and tartan "trews."

"The Slashers."

The Gloucestershire Regiment derives its name of "Slashers" from its achievements in the battle of the White Plains in 1777. There is another story, however, that the name arose from a report that, on one occasion, a magistrate having refused shelter to the women of the regiment during a severe winter, some of the officers disguised themselves as Indians and slashed off both his ears. In Torres Straits there is a reef which is marked on the charts as the "Slashers' Reef" because, after the Khyber Pass disaster of 1842, the "Slashers" were on the way from Australia to India when the transport conveying them grounded on this reef. Their other name of the "Old Braggs" is derived from their Commander, General Braggs, of 1734. In regard to this there is the tradition of an order given by a wag of a Colonel when the "Old Braggs" were brigaded with other regiments with Royal Titles. The order runs:

"Neither Kings nor Queens nor Royal Marines,
But 28th Old Braggs;
Brass before and brass behind;
Ne'er feared a foe of any kind,—
Shoulder arms!"

"The Vein Openers."

The Worcestershire Regiment were dubbed "The Vein Openers" by the people of Boston, (U.S.A.) in 1770, because they were the first to draw blood in the preliminary disturbances before the war. After the Peninsular War they were called "Old and Bold." Another name for them is "Star of the Line," from the eight-pointed star on their pouches—a distinction peculiarly their own. The 2nd Battalion were known as the "Saucy Greens" from the colour of their facings and, presumably, their extreme sauciness.

"The Young Buffs."

The 1st Battalion of the East Surrey Regiment derived their nickname from a peculiar royal mistake. At the battle of Dettingen, King George II., mistaking them for the "3rd Buffs," called out "Bravo Old Buffs!" Being reminded that they were not the "Old Buffs" but the 31st, His Majesty at once corrected his cry to "Bravo, Young Buffs!" and the name has stuck to the battalion ever since. The 2nd Battalion was raised at Glasgow in 1756 and takes its name of "Glasgow Greys" from that and the facings of the uniform.

"The Red Feathers."

The 2nd Battalion of the Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry gained their nickname by a signal act of defiant heroism. During the American War of Independence they learned that the enemy had marked them down as men to whom no quarter was to be given. On this the Light Company, wishing to restrict the full force of this threat to themselves, and to prevent others suffering by mistake, stained their plume feathers red as a distinguishing mark. For this fine act they were authorised to wear a red feather, and this honour is perpetuated in the red cloth of the helmet and cap badge and the red pughri worn on foreign service. Their other nickname "The Lacedæmonians" has a dash of grim humour in its origin. During the same war, at the time of all times when the men were under a withering fire, their Colonel made a long speech to them—all about the Lacedæmonians, a brave race enough, but terribly ignorant of rifle fire.

"The Havercake Lads."

The West Riding Regiment (The Duke of Wellington's) is said to have derived its nickname from the fact that the recruiting sergeants in the old days carried an oat cake on the points of their swords. There is a joke among "The Havercakes" as old as their first recruiting sergeant. This enterprising man was in the habit of addressing the Yorkshire crowd as follows: "Come, my lads; don't lose your time listening to what them foot sojers says about their ridgements. List in my ridgement and you'll be all right. Their ridgements are obliged to march on foot, but my ridgement is the gallant 33rd, the First Yorkshire West Riding Ridgement, and when ye join headquarters ye'll be all mounted on horses."

The 2nd Battalion is known as "The Immortals," from the fact that in the Indian wars under Lord Lake every man bore the marks of wounds. They were also called "The Seven and Sixpennies" from their number (76th) and from the fact that seven and sixpence represented a lieutenant's pay.

"The Orange Lilies."

The 1st Battalion of the Royal Sussex Regiment was named "The Orange Lilies" from their early facings, orange, a mark of favour from William III., in 1701, and the white plume taken from the Roussillon French Grenadiers at Quebec in 1759. They were originally called "The Belfast Regiment" then "The Prince of Orange's Own." The orange facings were replaced by blue in 1832, and the white plumes disappeared in 1810; but the white (Roussillon) plume is still a badge of the Royal Sussex.

"The Pump and Tortoise."

The 1st Battalion South Staffordshire Regiment earned half their nickname from their extreme sobriety and the other half from the slow way they set about their work when actually stationed at Malta. The 2nd Battalion is known as "The Staffordshire Knots."

"Sankey's Horse."

The 2nd Battalion Dorsetshire Regiment, under Colonel Sankey in 1707, arrived at Almanza during the battle mounted on mules, hence the term "Sankey's Horse," applied to a foot regiment. They were the first King's regiment to land in India, in memory of which they have for their motto "Primus in Indis." In 1742 the regiment was popularly known as "The Green Linnets" from the "sad green" facings of its uniform. The 2nd Battalion acquired the name of "The Flamers" from their large share in the destruction of the town and stores of New London, together with twelve privateers, by fire in 1781.

"The Excellers."

This name was fastened upon the 1st Battalion South Lancashire Regiment from its number (XL the 40th). It is also known as "The Fighting Fortieth." Until its amalgamation with the 82nd it had the honour of being next to the Royal Scots in the number of battle honours on its colour.

"The 1st Invalids."

The 1st Battalion Welsh Regiment is set down in old Army Lists under this name because it was first raised as a regiment of Invalids, in 1719. In George II's, time it was known as "Wardour's Regiment." The nickname of the 2nd Battalion is a curious play on words—or rather figures. They are called the "Ups and Downs" because their number (69th) reads the same when inverted. The 69th are also called "The Old Agamemnons," a fancy title bestowed on them by Lord Nelson at St. Vincent after the name of his ship, on which a detachment was serving as marines.

"The Black Watch."

The Royal Highlanders won this honoured name from the sombre colour of their tartan some ten years before their Highland Companies were formed into a regiment known as "The Highland Regiment." Its first Colonel, Lord Crawford, being a lowlander, had no family tartan, so, it is said, this special tartan was devised. The bright colours in the various tartans are said to have been extracted, leaving only the dark green ground. The French, under the impression that in their own mountainous country they ran wild and naked, called them "Sauvages d'Ecosse." The red hackle in their bonnets was won at Guildermalsen in 1794.

"The Cauliflowers."

The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment have this nickname from the former colour of the facings of the 1st Battalion. They are also called "The Lancashire Lads." After Quebec the 47th were nicknamed "Wolfe's Own" and to this day the officers of both battalions wear a black worm in their lace gold as a sign of sorrow for their general's death. This is the only regiment that is officially styled "Loyal," the 2nd Battalion having been known prior to 1881 as the 81st (Loyal Lincoln Volunteers).

"The Steelbacks."

This is the name applied to the Northamptonshire Regiment because of the unflinching way in which they took their floggings. While under Wellington in the Peninsular War one, Hovenden, a private, was flogged for breach of discipline. At the twentieth stroke he fainted and this so disgusted his comrades that on his recovery they cut him dead. Much annoyed at this Hovenden marched up to the Colonel and called him a fool, and for this he was ordered to be flogged again. That night the regiment was attacked by the French, and Hovenden, evading the guard, arrived on the battlefield in time to see his Colonel captured by the enemy. With his musket he shot down the captors and then liberated the Colonel and bound up his wounds. After this he returned to make sure of his flogging, but was struck by a bullet and killed.

The Northamptonshires have also the honoured name, "Heroes of Talavera," because they turned the tide of battle on that victorious day.


From a Painting by R Caton Woodville

"The Blind Half Hundred."

The 1st Battalion Royal West Kent Regiment suffered greatly from ophthalmia in Egypt in 1801, hence this nickname. They were called also "The Dirty Half Hundred" because the men, when in action in hot weather, used to wipe their faces with their black cuffs, with obvious results. Another of their names is "The Devil's Royals," and yet another "The Gallant 50th"—this last because at Vimiera, in 1807, 900 of them routed 5,307 of the enemy.

"The Kolis."

The King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry derive their name of "Kolis" from their initials. The name often takes the corrupted form of "Coalies."

"The Die-Hards."

The 1st Battalion Duke of Cambridge's Own (Middlesex Regiment) were styled "Die Hards" from the memorable words of Inglis at Albuera: "Die hard, my men; die hard!"—words which were endorsed by Stanley at Inkerman when he said: "Die hard! Remember Albuera!" The 2nd Battalion are called "The Pothooks," from their number (77).

"The Royal American Provincials."

This distinguished popular name was bestowed on the King's Royal Rifle Corps because they were raised in America.

"The Bloodsuckers."

The Manchester Regiment appear to have acquired this name from general and warlike reasons. The 1st Battalion displayed great courage and steadiness in the defence of Ladysmith. The 2nd Battalion was formerly the "Minorca Regiment" and became part of the Line in 1804 as the 97th (Queen's German) Regiment, becoming later the 96th Foot.

"The Strada Reale Highlanders."

The Gordon Highlanders (92nd and 75th) would propound a riddle to you: What is the difference between the 92nd and the 75th? The answer is that the 92nd are real Highlanders, and the 75th are Real(e) Highlanders.

"The Cia mar tha's."

The Cameron Highlanders owe this nickname to Sir Allen Cameron, who raised the regiment. It was his word to everybody: "Cia mar tha!" (How d'ye do!)

"The Garvies."

The Connaught Rangers are called "Garvies" because their recruits, when first the regiment was raised, were both lean and raw. Now a "garvie" is a small herring.

"The Blue Caps."

At the time of the relief of Cawnpore, a despatch of Nana Sahib was intercepted, containing a reference to those "blue-capped English soldiers who fought like devils." These "Blue-Caps" were the Madras Fusiliers, then a "John Company" regiment, but now the 1st Battalion Royal Dublin Fusiliers. The name was later stamped in perpetuity by Havelock, at the bridge of Charbagh. The question was put to him by Outram as to who could possibly carry the bridge under so deadly a fire. "My Blue Caps!" replied Havelock, and his faith in them was justified, for they carried it against overwhelming odds. The Bombay Fusiliers (another "John Company" regiment) now the 2nd Battalion Royal Dublin Fusiliers, have an equally distinguished record. They have been known as "The Old Toughs."

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Date release: January 19, 2014

Nonfiction, History
British, Regiments, Front,, Story, Their, Battle, Honours, (Illustrated), Reginald, Hodder, download, Microsoft Reader (LIT), ePUB 2, FB2

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